Panel 3: The Human/Animal Connection and Sacred Stories

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Gimbutas' discoveries provided rich evidence of the central role that wild and domestic animals played in the symbolism and art of Old Europe. In this panel we explore the human-animal connection from the Paleolithic period, review the tales of the animal bride or bridegroom in Euopean myth, discuss goddess symbolism and strong women in Baltic/Slavic mythology, and introduce Basque myths of animals and shape-shifting deities.

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Idoia Arana-Beobide

Euskalduna (Basque speaker) born in Zumaia (Euskadi), raised with both deep Basque traditional values and a liberal worldview with the inner knowledge on Basque ancient belief systems. Idoia holds a Diploma in Museum Studies, a B.A. in Mediaeval Studies, a M.A. in Religion Studies, and she is currently working on her PhD in Basque Matricultural Spiritual Tradition.

Krista Holland

Krista Holland, a multifaceted teacher, frame drummer, and independent researcher, is the founder of the Sacred Drumming Academy, where she shares her in-depth training and studies of the frame drum. Krista learned the art of frame drumming along with ritual, myth, and ancient feminine drum history while apprenticing under the tutelage of Layne Redmond, author of When the Drummers Were Women, for 14 years until Layne’s passing. Krista has devoted more than 25 years to research and practice of the frame drum and its incredible cross-cultural history — and has 15 years of experience teaching the frame drum to others and leading sacred drumming circles and ceremonies.

Dr. Suzana Marjanić

Suzana Marjanić is on the staff at the Institute of Ethnology and Folklore Research in Zagreb, where she realises her interests in the theories of ritual and myth, critical animal studies and the performance studies. Her published books include "The Topoi of Performance Art: A Local Perspective" (2017).

Dr. Susan Moulton

Currently retired from teaching at Sonoma State University in California, Susan now devotes her time to managing her small farm in rural Sonoma County where she works with rescued animals, particularly American mustangs, and conducting research and writes on human-animal communication and relationships.